Nintendo Unveils Wii U Launch Details
Despite reports last week that the base package for Nintendo’s Wii U console would retail for the tantalising price $250, Nintendo have quashed such such rumours with their announcement that that the Wii U base package will retail for $300, and that the premium bundle will retail for $350, making the system a harder purchase to make for gamers planning on acquiring the system as a reasonably priced adjunct to one of the truly next-generational Sony or Microsoft consoles. The console will launch on the 18th of November in the US. The standard console will come in white, and will feature 8GB of storage, while the premium model will come in black, and will feature 32GB of storage plus Nintendo Land as a pack-in game.
While 8GB of storage may seem like a woefully inadequate configuration, that is not necessarily reason to spring for the premium option, as the system is said to be widely compatible with any manner of USB storage devices. This opens the door for the relatively cheap and abundant storage afforded by external hard drives. Gamers will however wish to hang on to their original Wii consoles if they have a library of Wii Ware titles, seeing as both consoles are required to transfer these games to the Wii U. Finally, gamers will want to be very careful with their Wii U tablet controllers, seeing as Nintendo (bizarrely) will not be selling them individually inside the launch window, on account of no launch title supporting two player gameplay using tablet controllers, so a big fuck you to anyone who manages to break one of these monsters.
A New Low for Kickstarter, Obsidian
Black Isle Studios (not to be confused with the 2012 husk of the same name) was responsible for crafting some of the finest Western RPGs that the genre has known, yet when the shattered remnants of that studio went on to found Obsidian Entertainment they were not met with the same success. Obsidian projects have almost always shown a great deal of promise and world-building know-how, yet their products have become synonymous with buggy, half-finished software, meaning that their star burns far less brightly than it did for the real Black Isle Studios.
Obsidian Entertainment made Kickstarter history this week by setting the highest (read: greediest) target goal of any game project for their proposed new title, simply named Project Eternity (the game does not even have a proper name yet). Obsidian set for themselves the lofty target goal of 1.1 million dollars in order to fund the game, yet, unfortunately, instead of being laughed off Kickstarter, the project has already been funded within the span of a day, garnering 1.2 million dollars as of writing. With thirty days remaining on Kickstarter the game could potentially better the funds accrued by Double Fine Adventure (3.45 million), which currently stands as the highest grossing game-software project on Kickstarter. One despairs at the credulity of the over-cashed gaming public, as frittering one’s money away on non-deserving albeit competent studios is one thing, but taking a punt on a studio with a record for under-performance is quite another. If Obsidian can completely bollocks up the games they produce for wealthy publishers like Sega, then one can scarcely perceive of the things that could go wrong as Obsidian attempt to deliver a fantasy RPG on a shoe-string budget.
Bayonetta 2 Announced – for the Wrong Console
Ever since the release of Bayonetta, the spiritual sequel to Devil May Cry, fans of the game have been clamouring for a sequel. The recent humiliation of the Devil May Cry franchise at the hands of Ninja Theory has only served to make this yearning more acute, and this week PlatinumGames saw fit to oblige in the least helpful way possible. Bayonetta 2 is set to be released as a Wii U exclusive title with Nintendo as the publisher, effectively cutting off the majority of existing Bayonetta fans, most of which are Xbox gamers.
This is a very poor decision to make for actually growing the franchise, yet it is an understandable decision to make if Nintendo’s lifeline was the only way to get the game made. That said, the first game sold 1.88 million copies, so it is quite difficult to believe that no other publisher was willing to back the project. PlatimGames’ response to the deafening fan outcry has been as such: “The console games market is in a state of upheaval, so establishing a new game franchise requires a considerable amount of will, determination, and love. Bayonetta is a brand that we want to see become stronger, reaching the hands of more and more gamers, so we have continued to consult with SEGA, the previous game’s publisher, on how we can make sure this takes place. Our answer was a new partnership with Nintendo.”
The above statement suggests that Sega wanted nothing more to do with the franchise, or possibly even sold the rights to Nintendo (?). At any rate, Bayonetta 2 might do quite well by monopolising on its status as one of very few Wii U third party core-gaming exclusives, yet the series will in essence be starting again from square one, with no pre-existing fanbase. One hopes that the game eventually finds its way onto a more gaming oriented console, but, being a Nintendo published title, the chances of that happening are quite slim.